0800035 - NUCLEAR EXCAVATION, EXCAVATING WITH NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVES (8:45) AND PLOWSHARE (28:22) 1968 and 1973 Black & White and Color 37:07 total
This video discusses the Plowshare Program - a program that promoted using the energy produced from nuclear explosions for peaceful uses and applications. The Atomic Energy Commission established the program in 1958, and Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (now Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) developed and implemented the projects and tests. Under this program 27 nuclear tests comprising 35 individual detonations were conducted.
The video describes the objectives of the Plowshare Program tests that include: stimulation of natural gas production; creation of underground zones of fractured oil shale; earth breaking and moving projects; neutron irradiation of targets to create new elements; copper and other metal extraction from the earth; breaking and crushing mineral deposits; and rapid excavation for large scale construction projects such as harbors, canals, or mountain passes.
Comparisons between conventional and nuclear explosives in terms of cost, volume, and practical uses are discussed. Nuclear explosions are shown in schematic animation format in addition to actual film footage. Footage of people entering the underground GNOME cavity is shown, as well as close-ups of the five simultaneous, BUGGY row detonations. Conventional explosive comparisons are also shown, including one of almost 1400 tons of chemical explosives that decapitated the submerged pinnacles of Ripple Rock. The Rock had imperiled ships using the Inland Passage north of Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Plowshare cratering tests shown in the “Nuclear Excavation" portion of the video include:
• SEDAN, NTS, July 6, 1962, 104 kilotons (kt) • SULKY, NTS, December 18, 1964, 92 tons • CABRIOLET, NTS, January 26, 1968, 2.3 kt • BUGGY-A, BUGGY–B, BUGGY–C, BUGGY–D, and BUGGY-E, NTS, March 12, 1968, five simultaneous detonations, separate holes, 1.08 kt (each) • SCHOONER, NTS, December 8, 1968, 30 kt